Album: The Leisure Society, The Sleeper, (Willkommen Records)

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The Independent Culture

Although it's 15 years since guitarist Nick Hemming and then-vocalist-now-film-maker Shane Meadows broke up their band, the pair still share a similarity of vision: unflinching clarity and a sense of longing for the kitchen-sink-real England and America of the recent past.

This, then, is that vision set to music – bathed in ukuleles, banjos, mandolins and pedal steels. It's a uniquely British take on Americana; almost as if Scott Walker or Nick Drake had "gone country", making music for coalminers rather than cowboys.

Pick of the album: The sad but never slushy 'Last of the Melting Snow'

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